MED-EL USA, Durham, NC, has launched its first-ever book for speech and hearing professionals and bilingual families of children with hearing loss. Dual-Language Learning for Children with Hearing Loss is being released this week during the 2014 AG Bell Convention.
“Increasing numbers of hearing and speech professionals are finding themselves working with children who have hearing loss and come from linguistically diverse backgrounds. Clinicians may be faced with the challenge of helping families who do not speak the majority language,” says the book’s author, Michael Douglas, MA, who is currently principal of the Mama Lere Hearing School in the Bill Wilkerson Center at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.
Research has shown that encouraging minority language development neither impairs a child with hearing loss nor prevents him or her from learning the majority language in the presence of adequate speech perception and an effective immersion process. As long as a child with hearing loss can demonstrate adequate speech perception within the first few years of life using the latest hearing technology, families can take advantage of their child’s critical learning period with the help of appropriate identification and special intervention procedures to develop bilingualism.
“We now have, more than ever, a unique opportunity to improve services for families who do not speak a majority language or speak more than one language and want a bilingual outcome for their children with hearing loss. I hope this book helps professionals enhance their practice[s] and even inspire others to contribute to a much needed body of resources on this topic,” Douglas adds.
“Dual-Language Learning provides both the knowledge and tools for practitioners to have a successful experience, even if they speak a different language than their clients,” says Darla Franz, MA, vice president of education and corporate communication, MED-EL USA. “Professionals who serve a culturally and linguistically diverse population now have a resource that helps integrate education for children with hearing loss with the needs of all of their families.”
Dual-Language Learning was developed to assist professionals with issues surrounding assessment and intervention for children with hearing loss who are culturally and linguistically diverse. It also provides a guideline for administrators in developing a program for bilingual children. The book is relevant for clinicians providing individual intervention or for group settings such as preschools or schools.
Author Michael Douglas, MA, is a speech-language pathologist and a certified auditory-verbal therapist. He received his BA in speech-language pathology and MA from the University of North Texas. He has contributed to several peer review publications on this issue and has been an adjunct instructor at The University of Houston from 2010 to 2012.